Science Showcase at Ponce City Farmers Market

Georgia Tech will be at Ponce City Farmers Market one Tuesday a month from June to November. Graduates in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and faculty from the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences will share with customers and passersby science about our planet that they could apply to their daily lives.

Underwater Robots & Ice Sheets is the third of six programs making up "Science Showcase at Ponce City Farmers Market." The goal of this program is to make people learn about what scientists are making to help study the Antarctic ice sheets from below the ice surface. If you are at the farmers' market you can  

  • learn about unmanned robotic vehicles 
  • ask about how fast ice sheets are melting
  • watch videos taken from under the Antarctic ice 
  • chat with the engineers who designed and operate the robotic vehicles  

 

Series Schedule
Following are the topics for "Science Showcase at Ponce City Farmers Market" through November, as well as the Georgia Tech volunteers:

The showcase is an initiative of Ph.D. student Tiegan Hobbs. Georgia Tech's science presence at Ponce City Farmers Market was made possible by Hobbs's collaboration with its market manager, Stephanie Luke.

 

Event Details

Date/Time:

The impacts of atmospheric radiation on studies of planetary habitability

The conditions required for Earth-like life to emerge on a planetary body are thought to include the presence of liquid water, the availability of energy and the existence of organic material. There are situations when determining whether the above conditions exist on a planetary body is not possible without a detailed understanding of the radiative processes occurring in a planet's atmosphere. In this work, studies of the radiative flux and transfer within planetary atmospheres are carried out in order to elucidate whether certain planetary bodies may be habitable.

December 31, 1969 |

Liquid water on Mars fired everyone’s fancy in 2015. Water on Mars today exists in the form of hydrated perchlorates, said the researchers who led the work. They include James Wray, an associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS).

The finding boosts the possibility of life on the red planet. Water tied to perchlorate meets life’s two needs: water and energy. Perchlorate emits huge amounts of energy when it reacts. For this reason, its salts are ingredients of rocket boosters and fireworks.

Perchlorate as Food for Microbes

Some organisms use perchlorate as an energy source. So-called perchlorate-reducing microorganisms (PRM) would likely live in places where perchlorate naturally occurs. Yet coexistence of PRMs with naturally occurring perchlorate has not been detected until recently.

One likely place where such coexistence may occur is Pilot Valley, in the Great Salt Lake Desert of Utah. Pilot Valley is a hypersaline, perchlorate-rich, and closed basin. It loses water mainly from evaporation.

Yet perchlorate vanishes from Pilot Valley to an extent that cannot be explained by water loss, says Kennda Lynch. She’s a postdoctoral researcher working with Wray and School of Biological Sciences Professor Frank Rosenzweig.

Perchlorate is soluble in water, but it will not evaporate with water. Perchlorate salt residues should accumulate as water evaporates. Yet Pilot Valley shows a decline of such salt remains. The perchlorate is just disappearing.  

Lynch believes PRMs in Pilot Valley must be using the perchlorate. While doing her Ph.D., Lynch found the first known coexistence of PRMs and naturally occurring perchlorate in Pilot Valley. Because no one knows what these PRMs are, Lynch will spend the next year finding out. Supporting her work is a recently announced Ford Foundation fellowship.

Ford Foundation Fellowship

“I’m extremely honored to be a Ford Fellow,” Lynch says. “This funding will allow me to continue this important research, which will aid the search for evidence of life on other planets.”

Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs seek to increase diversity in academia by increasing ethnic and racial diversity. As a fellow, Lynch will gain access to one of the largest communities of academic professionals committed to creating and fostering diverse environments in higher education.

The fellowship presents a “unique opportunity to forge connections with extraordinary individuals as I continue efforts to broaden diversity within the field of astrobiology,” she says.

Lynch’s Ford Foundation research aims to find out what microbial communities use perchlorate. What are the mechanisms at their disposal?

Lynch will examine whether active perchlorate metabolism takes place in Pilot Valley. If so, what other metabolic processes occur when that process is on?

Then she will use the findings to help define a model for perchlorate-driven life on Mars. 

Filling the Knowledge Gap

The work will help NASA’s Mars Exploration Program understand the extent of habitable environments on Mars, including energy sources that could drive microbial systems. “Perchlorate is one of the most abundant and most energetic metabolic resources on Mars,” Lynch says. Yet basic questions abound about its use to support life in a place that looks like Mars.

Working in Pilot Valley – an Earth stand-in for Mars – Lynch aims to fill the knowledge gap. She will run experiments to detect perchlorate use. She will apply state-of-the-art techniques to find genes for, and expression of, perchlorate metabolism. She will also isolate PRMs. 

Lynch will continue to work with Wray and Rosenzweig. However, she will be based mostly in the lab of EAS Assistant Professor Jennifer Glass.

“My lab members and I are very excited to have Kennda join us,” Glass says. “Kennda will bring a new perspective on Mars’s relevance to our group. Serendipitously, we have cultivated microbes similar to PRMs in our recent studies, and we look forward to helping Kennda grow new, exciting microbes from Pilot Valley.”

The 71st American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia. This premier annual meeting is the largest gathering of the year for the fluid dynamics community. Organizers expect 3,400 attendees from around the world.

Georgia Tech faculty are helping organize the meeting. College of Engineering Professors Donald Webster and  P. K. Yeung co-chairs of the local organizing committee. Seven faculty from the College of Sciences are members of the local organizing committee

  • Annalissa Bracco, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Daniel Goldman, School of Physics
  • Roman Grigoriev, School of Physics
  • David Hu, Schools of Biological Sciences and Physics
  • Michael Schatz, School of Physics
  • Marc Weissburg, School of Biological Sciences
  • Jeannette Yen, School of Biological Sciences

Georgia Tech faculty are working with colleagues from the other hosts institutions: Auburn University, Clemson University, Emory University, University of Alabama, University of Georgia, and Vanderbilt University. 

Financial support was provided by the host institutions, including Georgia Tech College of Engineering and College of Sciences.

Full information is available at the conference website

Important Dates

Registration Deadlines

  • Early Registration Rate: on or before September 16, 2018
  • Regular Registration Rate: September 17 – October 21, 2018
  • On-Site Registration Rate: October 22 – November 20, 2018
  • Cancellation Deadline (no registration refunds past this date): November 7, 2018

Housing

APS/DFD Hotel Block opens June 4, 2018 (See Hotels & Travel tab for more information)

Hotel's Reduced Rate Ends: October 14, 2018, or earlier if block sells out

Abstracts

Abstract Submission Deadline: August 1, 2018

Travel and Child Care

Travel Grant Application Deadline: August 1, 2018, 5:00 PM EDT

Child Care Grant Application Deadline: August 1, 2018, 5:00 PM EDT

Travel Assistance for Participants with Disabilities Deadline: August 1, 2018, 5:00 PM EDT

Gallery of Fluid Motion GFM

  • GFM Posters and Video Submission Entries Must be Made by September 14, 2018
  • Videos must be uploaded by October 5, 2018
  • GFM Poster: Bring to meeting

Event Details

Date/Time:

December 31, 1969 |

Researchers at Georgia Tech, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Smithsonian Institution, and Stanford University are leading an initiative to ensure the health of oceans for generations to come. Called OceanVisions, the initiative envisions healthy oceans for all inhabitants of Earth and for all users and uses of the open seas enabled by advances in science and engineering.

Earth’s oceans have been under intense pressure – from the harvesting and exploitation of the waters’ natural riches and from the impacts of pollution and climate change. The news is rife with the doom and gloom of dying coral reefs and toxic dead zones.

OceanVisions organizers believe positive trends are in sight. They see the dawning of a new phase of optimism for the health of our oceans (#oceanoptimism). They know that solutions are available to help oceans adapt to or mitigate human and environmental assaults.

The organizers of OceanVisions seek to develop robust pathways toward solutions to a diverse array of ocean problems. They are aware of what science and technology can accomplish. They are convinced that current efforts – if coordinated and integrated – could yield a knowledge base for solutions to many of the oceans’ problems (#oceansolutions).

“OceanVisions will create a concrete pathway for scientists and engineers to design and execute research that enables ocean solutions.”  Emanuele Di Lorenzo, Georgia Tech

Objectives

Toward its vision, OceanVisions has four objectives:

  • Establish a forum for ocean scientists and engineers to discuss research in the context of ocean solutions  
  • Integrate the peer-reviewed science and engineering literature that informs and enables ocean solutions
  • Raise public awareness of ocean solutions to inspire the next generation of experts and leaders
  • Enable sustained dialogue about ocean solutions among users, stakeholders, scientists, and engineers

2019 Activities

Kickstarting OceanVisions are several activities in 2019.

  • OceanVisions2019 – CLIMATE: Successes in Resilience, Adaptation, Mitigation, and Sustainability. This inaugural OceanVisions meeting will take place on April 1-4, 2019, at Georgia Institute of Technology. Speakers will share success stories in protecting the health of oceans while maximizing their benefits to human well-being.
  • Ocean Tethys Award. OceanVisions established this award to honor and celebrate individuals who epitomize the promise and fulfillment of translating research to ocean solutions. The first recipient is Jane Lubchenco, former director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She will receive the award on April 1, 2019, during OceanVisions2019.
  • Uncommon Dialogue. This event will take place in Stanford University in September 2019. Scientists, engineers, and stakeholders will gather to discuss scalable ocean solutions.
  • Frontiers in Marine Science special issue. The issue’s theme is “Successes at the Interface of Ocean, Climate, and Humans.” Contributions will be solicited from presenters at OceanVisions2019.

Organizers

“OceanVisions will create a concrete pathway for scientists and engineers to design and execute research that enables ocean solutions,” says Emanuele Di Lorenzo. He is a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and the director of Georgia Tech’s Ocean Science and Engineering Ph.D. program.

Joining Di Lorenzo as OceanVisions' lead organizers are

For more information, visit the OceanVisions website.

 

December 31, 1969 |

By the end of the 2017-18 school year, four more students joined the roster of Leddy Family Scholars. Meanwhile four previous scholars graduated.

As the 2018-19 school year begins, the Leddy Family Scholarship Fund will be supporting nine students majoring in the College of Sciences. Before the end of the Fall 2018 semester, the College will name another four scholars.

The Leddy Family Scholarship Fund supports awards to undergraduates in the College of Sciences. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic achievement. Scholars are expected to continue participation in experiential educational programs such as research, study abroad, service learning, outreach activities, or campus leadership.

The fund is made possible by a generous donation by the family of School of Physics alumnus Jeffrey Leddy.

The latest additions to the Leddy Family Scholars’ roster are Quazi Ziyan Ahmed, Gabriel Bonilla, Mariel Barnett, and Madison Elizabeth Luker.

New Scholars

Quazi Ziyan Ahmed, from Snellville, Georgia, is studying for a B.S. in Mathematics, as well as a Certificate in Finance. His career goal is to work in the financial industry. For now, he is the marketing manager of the Student Center Tech Rec. In his spare time, Ahmed enjoys playing basketball, soccer, and cricket. He also loves to cook and travel.

Gabriel Bonilla hails from Minnesota. He is a biochemistry major in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Before attending Georgia Tech, he worked as a research assistant in the lab of Carrie Wilmot, professor and associate dean for graduate education in the College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota.

Mariel Barnett is a major in the School of Psychology. Even as a first-year student, she volunteered in the Attention and Working Memory Lab, directed Randall Engle. She is interested in cognition and child development. After college, she intends to go to graduate school. Eventually she wants to teach psychology or become a counselor.

From California, Madison Elizabeth Luker came to Georgia Tech to major in biology, with a minor in biomedical engineering. Luker has extensive experience in working with animals. For example, she has rescued miniature horses from auction and retrained them for therapy work. In 2018, she marched with the trained horses in the Rose Bowl Parade. During her first year at Tech, she did research with Young-Hui Chang, in the School of Biological Sciences. Chang directs the Comparative Neuromechanics Laboratory.

Graduates

Meanwhile, in spring 2018, four Leddy Family Scholars graduated:

“One of my proudest achievements is receiving the Leddy Family Scholarship,” Stubbs said in a profile just before she graduated. “I was honored to be recognized for my hard work, and it took a huge financial burden off my shoulders. I am incredibly grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Leddy for their generosity and support.”

Meanwhile, Zott is attending California Institute of Technology to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry. He wants to specialize in inorganic chemistry. He’s exploring research groups developing model systems to study nitrogen reduction as carried out by nitrogenase. He hopes to do outreach volunteer work with faculty and students at nearby Pasadena City College.

Continuing Scholars

As the 2018-19 school year begins in August, three Leddy Family Scholars will begin their third year of studies at Georgia Tech:

  • Jack Peters, major in physics
  • Brooke Miller, major in mathematics
  • Shanee Mortley, major in biochemistry

In addition, two scholars will begin their fourth year of studies:

  • Samuel Wiley, major in physics
  • Stephanie Wyman, major in biology.

Vote of Confidence

“Our students are at the very center of everything we do at the College of Sciences. As we attract and retain the most promising students, the quality of our academic programs rises, as well,” says College of Sciences Dean and Sutherland Chair Paul M. Goldbart.

“The Leddy Scholarships are awarded to some of the brightest, hardest working, and broadly engaged students in the College,” Goldbart says. “We’re grateful for the Leddy family’s investment in our students—and the Leddy Scholars are likewise grateful for the vote of confidence in their futures.”

Science Showcase at Ponce City Farmers Market

Georgia Tech will be at Ponce City Farmers Market one Tuesday a month from June to November. Graduates in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and faculty from the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences will share with customers and passersby science about our planet that they could apply to their daily lives.

Urbanization & the Water Cycle is the second of six programs making up "Science Showcase at Ponce City Farmers Market." The goal of this program is to make people aware of the source of the water we use to drink, bathe, clean, and more.  If you are at the farmers' market you can ask 

  • ask about Atlanta water shed
  • learn about what makes streams healthy
  • participate in measuring water quality
  • obtain information about volunteer opportunities to help maintain the health of the Chattahoochee River and other Atlanta bodies of water 

 

Series Schedule
Following are the topics for "Science Showcase at Ponce City Farmers Market" through November, as well as the Georgia Tech volunteers:

The showcase is an initiative of Ph.D. student Tiegan Hobbs. Georgia Tech's science presence at Ponce City Farmers Market was made possible by Hobbs's collaboration with its market manager, Stephanie Luke.

 

Event Details

Date/Time:

Science Showcase at Ponce City Farmers Market

Georgia Tech will be at Ponce City Farmers Market one Tuesday a month from June to November. Graduates in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and faculty from the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences will share with customers and passersby science about our planet that they could apply to their daily lives.

Disaster Preparedness is the first of six programs making up "Science Showcase at Ponce City Farmers Market." The goal is to encourage people to think about how to prepare for natural disasters they can encounter in their locations. If you are at the farmers' market you can ask about:

  • natural disasters likely in various locations, such as tropical storms in Georgia and earthquakes in California
  • preparedness strategies
  • emergency kit for disasters

 

Series Schedule
Following are the topics for "Science Showcase at Ponce City Farmers Market" through November, as well as the Georgia Tech volunteers:

The showcase is an initiative of Ph.D. student Tiegan Hobbs. Georgia Tech's science presence at Ponce City Farmers Market was made possible by Hobbs's collaboration with its market manager, Stephanie Luke.

 

Event Details

Date/Time:

December 31, 1969 |

Georgia Tech Ph.D. students and postdocs host AbGradCon 2018 this week. AbGradCon stands for Astrobiology Graduate Conference. The popular gathering provides a unique setting for attendees to share research, collaborate, and network.

The meeting is for and by early-career scientists addressing the broad questions of astrobiology: How did life start? Where else does life exist? How could humans search for life outside Earth?

AbGradCon 2018 brings to the fore Georgia Tech’s standing in astrobiology research and education. Georgia Tech leads in training scientists who will direct space exploration in the 21st century.

Organizers

George Tan chairs the organizing committee. He is a Ph.D. student of Amanda Stockton, in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Working with Tan were more than a dozen other Ph.D. students or postdoctoral researchers.

Organizers expect 96 attendees: 72 from the U.S. and 24 from overseas, Tan says. They come from nine countries: Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, and United States.  

The program includes an evening for the public, which features Astronaut Lawrence DeLucas.

“We have a big astrobiology community at Tech. This is the perfect opportunity for us to network with students and postdocs with similar interests. I also learned a lot about planning conferences,” says Adriana Lozoya. She is a Ph.D. student of Nicholas Hud, in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Hud is also a member of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB).

“It’s been a great experience getting all the moving parts to work to make this conference exciting and worthwhile for all attendees,” says Marcus Bray. He is a Ph.D. student of Jennifer Glass, in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Glass is also an IBB member. 

Funding

Major funding for the meeting came from the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Other sponsors are:

“We can’t thank our sponsors enough,” Tan says. “Their generosity markedly enhanced our ability to prepare the best possible program and accommodate close to a hundred participants.”

“I look forward to the many informal discussions over the week,” says Rebecca Rapf. She is a postdoctoral researcher with Kevin Wilson at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. “I’m sure they will lead to productive collaborations and long-term friendships with people who will be our peers throughout our careers.”

December 31, 1969 |

David M. Collard, professor and associate dean, will serve as interim dean of the College of Sciences. Collard will officially assume the role Aug. 1, following the departure of the current dean, Paul Goldbart.

“Dr. Collard is a valued member of the faculty and administration in the College of Sciences,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs and K. Harrison Brown Family Chair. “We are grateful for his continued leadership and trust the College is in great hands during this transition.”

Collard joined the Georgia Tech faculty in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1991. He served as the director of Graduate Studies from 1997 to 2005, and then as associate chair from 2005 to 2010.

Academic Leadership

Collard has served as the associate dean for Academic Programs in the College of Sciences since 2010. In this role he coordinates activities related to recruitment, retention, curricula, instructional facilities, scholarships, and awards.

He also directs initiatives to broaden participation in STEM, build capacity for undergraduate research, and foster partnerships with neighboring, predominantly undergraduate institutions.

Research and Instruction

His teaching interests are in the field of organic chemistry, and he maintains a research program in polymer chemistry.

Along with his teaching and research interests, Collard has served in leadership roles of on-campus experiential learning programs including National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduate programs (REU), a 3M Undergraduate Summer Research Program, an NSF Scholarships in STEM & Living-Learning Community, and a number of U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need programs (GAANN).

Collard also co-directs the Chemistry Collaborations, Workshops, and Communities of Scholars (cCWCS) faculty development initiative, which has engaged thousands of faculty members from institutions across the United States. 

He has authored or co-authored more than 100 papers in refereed journals. Collard’s commitment to individual student research mentorship has included 24 Ph.D. graduates, 12 M.S. graduates, and 37 undergraduate researchers.

Honors and Awards

During his tenure, Collard has received all three of the Institute’s top teaching awards: the Class of 1940 W. Roane Beard Outstanding Teacher Award, the Class of 1940 Howard Ector Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Eichholz Award.

He is also the recipient of the Georgia Tech Class of 1934 Outstanding Use of Educational Technology Award and the Outstanding Ph.D. Advisor Award.

His work in undergraduate education has also garnered awards from the National Science Foundation, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and the Research Corporation for the Advancement of Science.

In 2017, he was the recipient of the University System of Georgia’s Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award in recognition of his commitment to teaching and student success.

Collard received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst in 1989 and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Sciences from the University of East Anglia, U.K., in 1983.

Collard will serve until a new dean is named. A search chair and advisory committee will be selected in the next several weeks to conduct an international search for the College’s next leader. Jennifer Herazy, associate provost for Operations, will serve as search director.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This item is a slightly modified version of the original story by Susie Ivy published on June 1, 2018, in the Georgia Tech News Center.

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